Robbie Goor toured a ton of schools this season as the goaltender for the Kenai River Brown Bears.
In the end, Gustavus Adolphus College of Saint Peter, Minnesota, kept calling him home.
“Nothing really compared to Gustavus,” Goor said Tuesday after committing to play Division III hockey at the school. “It gave me a homey feel. It’s a beautiful campus and a small campus. It fits my style.”
Goor, 20, came to the Brown Bears in a trade this season and went 10-22-1 with a 3.56 goals against average and a save percentage of 89.7.
“He’s a player that would have played Division I but his academics weren’t in line,” said Jeff Worlton, who was head coach last season but relieved of his duties Monday. “He was pursued by four major Division I programs.
“Gustavus is a good program and he’ll do well there. They’re building a program, just like we were doing in Kenai.”
Gustavus is led by Brett Petersen, who will enter his 18th season as head coach. Last season, the Gusties finished 5-15-5 overall and 4-10-2 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Goor, billet son of Rick VanHatten of Kenai, said he is not worried about not going Division I.
“I know deep down inside everything happens for a reason,” he said. “Academics-wise, this is probably better for me for job opportunities in the future.”
Goor said his interests are elementary education, communication and business, and Gustavus Adolphus offers education in all three fields.
“Right now they’re in the rebuilding stage and I’m hoping to come in and help turn the program around,” Goor said. “They’re a solid program with good facilities.”
The son of John and Amy Goor of Anoka, Minnesota, also said it will be nice to be a few hours from home.
“Last season, my parents could only come to four games,” Goor said. “A big part of the decision is they’ll be able to go to my games every weekend.”
That’s not to say Goor has regrets about playing a year in Alaska.
“I lived every day to the fullest,” he said. “I can honestly say it was the funnest year of my junior hockey career. It was a tight group of guys and we were always doing fun stuff like climbing mountains.”
Goor also said it felt good to know the Bears have been reactivated for the upcoming season after a successful fundraising drive.
“It kind of gives you goose bumps,” he said. “We went through a lot of stuff, and at the beginning they said there was no chance of saving them.
“It shows we made a big impact on the community, and how much the community supports us.”